Trick or Treat?

By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis

Just around the corner bejeweled princesses, muscular superheroes and all sorts of spooky and silly things will be knocking on the door.  The excitement for the impeding candy haul is definitely in the air.

Did you ever map out the most efficient way to run from house to house with the goal of filling your pillowcase?  Once the night was over did you a sort your loot into piles of treats you loved and trade candy you didn’t like?  Maybe you had to hide your stash to keep family and friends from diving in without permission?

Halloween is bittersweet.  It is loads of fun to dress up, watch the kiddos get hyped up and enjoy parties with friends.  But trouble surfaces when faced with the pounds of sugar that is hauled in at the end of the evening and when the leftover loot sitting in the bottom of the treat bowl starts calls our name.

The average American eats almost 150 pounds of sugar per person per year.  This is about 6 cups of sugar consumed per week! The average child under 12 consumes about 50 pounds per year.

Gobs and gobs of sugar – It’s on everything and in everything because it tastes amazing, but it is wrecking our health.  What was once an occasional treat has become a multiple times per day habit.

As a Unite Fitness Retreat lunch and learn lecture was wrapping up a week ago a client asked, “What do you pass out at Halloween?”

Costco to the rescue on this matter, the last several years we have passed out small containers of Play-Doh and this year my kids talked me into buying small containers of sparkle slime.  Sorry, not sorry, mom’s and dad’s!

Full sized candy bars are coveted treasures but when kids are eating multiple treats every single day, it has begun to turn into a health crisis for this generation of young people.  Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the US.

Halloween happens once per year and it’s fun to make clever treats resembling spiders and graveyards and even feet loaf complete with onion toenails – but maybe it’s time to rethink the everyday treat habits for our kids and for ourselves.  It’s more than likely the leftovers that do us in.  Once Halloween is over, we are already thinking about the next holiday… and then the next.  Halloween can be the turning point to throw in your fitness and health towel.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are a few non-treat suggestions that are certain to be met with sprints back down the steps to mom or dad shouting about how cool the loot was at your house!

Try Amazon and Oriental Trading Company for many of these NON-SUGARY HALLOWEEN TREAT options:

  • Sparkle slime and Play Doh in tiny containers (Costco)
  • Popcorn
  • Mini water bottles
  • Painted rocks – for the super crafty types
  • Stickers or Temporary Tattoos
  • Bouncy balls
  • Mandarin orange fruit cups packed in water with a pumpkin face drawn on the lid
  • Mini flashlights and glow sticks
  • Sticky hands
  • Bubbles – the tiny containers often used at weddings
  • Mini notebooks
  • Punch balloons in Halloween colors

From all of us at Unite Fitness Retreat, we wish you a FUN and SAFE, and HEALTHY Halloween 🎃!